A series of focus groups were hosted with those affected by cancer, including cancer patients and their families/carers/loved ones. These groups explored reaction to current language and the drivers of this so as to help identify how language needs to change. We collaborated with a Semiotics Agency to work with us to assess and analyse the response from the focus groups and to conduct a separate review of language used in a cultural context regarding cancer.


Words are highly powerful, but if used inappropriately they can create disconnection and separation. We identified potential suitable and respectful language to be used moving forward. This allowed our client to give direction on appropriate language to use in conversations about cancer so as to improve internal and external communications – and to improve conversations relating to cancer more generally.